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The Significance of Didaar - the Vision of the Imam
Ya Ali - O the Most High

Mubarak! We are overjoyed at the prospect of Didaar in a few days. Alhamdulillah! The Jamaat is very fortunate to receive the news of this blessing and as we await the event, we are preparing ourselves for this momentous event in the life of an Ismaili.

We are very fortunate to be receiving the Didaar in our lifetimes. The Tajikistan and Central Asian Jamaat had to wait over 600 years for the physical Didaar of the Imam and when it happened, it was an electrically charged event for both the Imam and the Jamaat.

Al Muayyad, our famous Dai in Fatimid times, was finally able to pay his respects to the Imam after much resistance from the ministers and courtiers who would not allow any man of learning to see the Imam personally until they submitted to their dicates. After many tries, he was successful in receiving the Didaar. Describing this experience, he writes:

"I was taken near the place wherefrom I saw the bright Light of the Prophethood. My eyes were dazzled by the Light. I shed tears of joy and felt as if I was looking at the face of the Prophet of Allah and of the Commander of the Faithful, Hazrat Ali. I prostrated myself before the one who is the fittest person to bow to. I wanted to say something, but 1 was awe-struck... I tried to speak but my tongue refused to move. People asked me to say what I wished to say. I could say nothing. The Imam said, 'Leave him. Let his fear and awe subside.' After this, I rose. I took the holy hand of the Imam, placed it on my eyes and on my chest and then kissed it. I left the place with immense joy."

Al Muayyad was the teacher of Nasir Khusraw who converted to Ismailism by Al Muayyad's teachings. Nasir Khusraw's teachings were responsible for the immense love the Ismailis of Central Asia preserved in their lives for over 6 centuries. When Mowlana Hazar Imam gave Didaar in 1995, the Jamaat symbolically presented Nasir Khusraw's book "Wahj-i Deen," 'The Face of Faith' alluding to the verse in the Quran - "the Face of Allah is everywhere."

Nasir Khusraw visited Cairo in 439 A.H./1047. C.E., where he met Al Muayyad and praises him in his Diwan. He says, "I searched in the world for Taawil-e-mutashabihat (The meaning of the allegories of the Holy Quran) but I could not find them anywhere except with the Fatimid Caliphs".

"Kih kard az khatir-i-khwaja Muayyid Dar-i-Hikmat kushada bar tu yazdan shab-i-man rooz-i raushan kard Khwaja za burhanha-i-choon khurshid-ipakhshan.

Mara binamood hazir har do aakm ba yak ja dar tanam paida pinhan."

"From the heart of Al-Muayyad, God has opened for thee the doors of wisdom. Khwaja changed my night into a shiny day by his arguments right like sun. He showed me both the worlds in my person, he made me behold them openly as well as secretly in one, in my person."

Our Ginans and Qasida poems are replete with both the spiritual and physical aspects of Didaar encounters and the beautiful accounts by various devoted Ismailis are a rich treasury of our 1400-year old history.

Now that the Imam is coming to our doorstep, how do we prepare to receive this great Barakah (blessing). The 1986 Didaar in the U.S. changed my life forever. And discussing this event with other Ismailis, it seems to have impacted everyone who was present in a positive material and spiritual manner. Now when I recite the Ginans or read the wonderful poetry written by our forebears, I seem to respond in a changed manner, I gather more joy as I travel this path. This Didaar is going to be especially significant as it has been an answer to mine and my children's prayer (this will be their first Didaar - Jamila's Birthday gift) and of course, is the prayer of every Ismaili who asks to receive this Grace. What Muslim would not wish to pay respects to our beloved Prophet Muhammad? For Ismailis, Didaar of the Imam is tanamount to being in the presence our beloved Prophet (s.a.s.). Nasir Khusraw was searching for the explanation of the Quranic Ayaat wherein Allah says "Those who give thee their allegiance, give allegiance to Allah Himself... [Quran 48:7-10] He set out to look for the Prophet's son so he could take allegiance from him and as led by a vision, he began his trip towards Egypt. When he takes his Bayah (allegiance) from the Imam, he was overcome with joy and his love made him an example to be followed for the millions who practiced and have followed his teachings 600 years hence.

Now I would like to explore the terminology of the Didaar (which is Persian) or Mulaqaat (Arabic) which means the meeting or vision, when you see someone. Not only is the Murid (follower) anxious for the Didaar, the Murshid (Guide) is even more excited about meeting his followers. Occasionally, a Didaar becomes even more special when we are graced by the Darbaar which is a Persian word for the Court of a King. During Darbaar, the Imam is dressed in his full regalia and all the Wazirs (courtiers) don their robes and turbans. When the Imam declares the Mulaqaat as Darbaar, this is symbolic to the Darbaar of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) when Prophet Muhammad declared Hazrat Ali as his successor at Gadhir-e Khumm and presented him with the Khilaat (his cloak/robe) and Safoh (turban) therefore transferring his authority and all the favors that were granted by God to him were now passed to Hazrat Ali who was known as Murtaza (the Favorite). The Darbaar ceremony is of great significance to Ismailis as it is the recognition of Hazrat Ali's spiritual and physical authority over the believers and has been passed on to Mowlana Hazar Imam, the 49th in line of his Ahl-e Bayt (progeny). The day symbolizes the event at Gadhir-e Khum proclaiming the identity of the Living Imam as bearer of the Noor (Light) of Imamate, the Covenant, which will continue till the Day of Judgement.

Ya 'ayyuhar Rasoolu ballig maa unzila ilayka mir-Rabbik. Wa illam taf'al famaa ballagta Risaalatah. Wallaahu ya'simuka minan naas. Innal'laaha laa yahdilqawmal kaafiriin.

"O Messenger (Prophet), deliver to the people what has been revealed to you from your Lord and if you do not do so then you will not have delivered His message and Allah (God) will protect you from the people. For God does not guide those who reject Faith." Quran 5:67

Prophet Muhammad felt great relief upon accomplishment of his mission of declaring Hazrat Ali his successor and legatee, wasi, and thereupon received the final revelation:

"This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion" Quran 5:3

This day therefore symbolizes the day when Islam became perfect by the recognition of Ali. Allah ordained blessings to be recited upon Prophet Muhammad and his family and remarkably, this is one thing in common with the Shia and the Sunni, that a prayer is not complete without invoking the Salawaat invoking God's blessings on the Prophet and his progeny and as Islam became perfected by the manifestation of Hazrat Ali, it is a gift to a Muslim to receive this Grace. For Allah says in the Holy Quran - 49:14 "Do not say: we believe; but say: we profess Islam. Only God can put faith in your hearts."

The Shia Ismaili Muslims believe that they are the chosen community as they follow the Living Imam of the Time who is the 49th descendent of Hazrat Ali and the Prophet's daughter Bibi (Lady) Fatima. And since his appointment was a Divine command, all the heavenly and spiritual entities and Angels take part in the celebration and offer their respects. These sentiments are beautifully versed in our Ginans.

Moti tabaakah hathon mey lekar
Shah koon vadhaave huraah...aaj raaj Mubarak hovey

Carrying trays filled with Divine pearls
Spiritual entities shower the Lord with pearls...blessings are yours this day

Audio of above Ginan, the Munaajaat which is recited on Imamat Day celebrations.

Jeereh Vaalaa Janamo janamni dohaagan hoti
Teh sohagan kidhi moreh Saami
Re Vaalaa lakh choriyaasina bandh chhodaaviyah
Eva maliya chheh Antar Jaami
Re Vaalaa aaj Ali maareh aanganey aavyah
Sathey anant karod dev laavyah
Chaud lokeh vadhaavya.

Jeereh Vaalaa aad Nirinjan agam agochar
Navsah naam dharavyah
Re Vaalaa hun balihaari te Satgoorni
Je am ghar Saami bhaleh aaviyah
Re Vaalaa aaj Ali maareh aanganey aavyah
Sathey anant karod dev laavyah
Chaud lokeh vadhaavya.

O Beloved Soul
I have been without a proper guide for many births
My Lord you have finally accepted me
And you have freed me from the cycle of rebirth
(I am indeed fortunate) to have found such a Master
Who knows my innermost thoughts
Ali has come to my abode this day
And He has brought countless elevated souls
Who have serenaded Him in heaven and the earth.

O Beloved Soul
(O Ali) you existed when nothing did
And you manifested in this world
I am immersed in His love
He who has finally come to my rescue
Ali has come to my abode this day
And He has brought countless elevated souls
Who have serenaded Him in heaven and the earth.

Audio of Jeereh Vaalaa Dhanreh Ghadri my favorite!
Translation of Jeereh Vaalaa Paat Mandaavine


By Pir Sadardeen

ejee shaamku aava(n)taa jo kahe - taaku(n) laakh vadhaai
paa(n)ch sakhee kero vahaalmo - kene meeleeyore bhaai
shamku(n) ddhu(n)ddha(n)te dekhte - ketaa jug gayaa viraa ketaa bhavbhayaa.............................................1

Countless blessings be given to the one who says that the Lord is coming! Lucky is the man who has met the one who is loved by the Five Friends, o brother!

R: In searching and looking for the Lord how many ages have passed, o brother, how many lives have been spent!

Those who inform [others] about the gracious arrival of the Lord (Imam), are entitled to hundreds of thousands of felicitations. O brothers! the one who has recognised the one (Imam), is as dear as the five dearest ones ("Panjtan Pak"). Seeking and looking for the Imam, O brothers!, numerous ages have gone and many incarnations have been consumed.

ejee swaamee ke gale me(n) haar hay - heeraa maannek jaddeeyaa
jeesare bhaave taaku(n) det hay - saaheb hay deel dariyaa....2

Around the Master's neck there is a necklace, set with diamonds and jewels. He gives to whom he pleases, for the Lord is infinitely generous.

There is a necklace worn by the Imaam where in diamonds and gems are studded.(expression of heavenly and invaluable treasure of wisdom and knowledge at the disposal of the Imam). He gratifies (guides) whom He likes (since) the Imam is ocean heartedly generous.

ejee swaamee maaro chatur sujaann hay - aape sreshtth divaan
jeesa ke bharose sthir rahyaa - rahyaa jameen aasmaan........3

My Master is knowing and wise, and his is the supreme authority. He who abides firmly trusting in him has the earth and the sky at his feet.

My Lord (Imam) is All Intelligent and All Knowing, He is the one who is to judge and take account of your deeds. By His support and guidance, a devotee attains control over the earth and the heavens.

ejee jaa(n)thakee hee jug jeet hay - ma(n)y hu(n) baa(n)dee re taakee
vachane vachane paau(n) bharu - cha(n)daa suraj saakhee......4

So long as this world endures, I am his handmaiden. I humbly obey his every command, the moon and the sun be my witness.

I am a slave of the one by whose cause the entire universe is alive and active. I place my footsteps according to His guidance, the sun and the moon bear witness to this fact.

ejee peer sadardeen boliyaa - koi man aapnnu samajaave
kapaddaa dhove so kyaa huvaa - deel dhove so paave...........5

Pir Sadardeen has said: if anyone would make his mind understand, then what comes of washing clothes? Discovery comes through cleansing the heart.

Peer Sadardeen says and enlightens your mind (heart). Of what good is it to clean your clothes (be ostentatious). It is only through the purity of the inner being (heart) that one attains (salvation and the timeless rewards).

"And Allah's are the hosts of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Mighty, Wise. Surely We have sent you as a witness and as a bearer of good news and as a warner. That you may believe in Allah and His Apostle and may aid him and revere him; and (that) you may declare His glory, morning and evening."

"Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his pledge), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward." [Quran 48:7-10]

7. Walillahi junoodu alssamawati waal-ardi wakana Allahu AAazeezan hakeeman
8. Inna arsalnaka shahidan wamubashshiran wanatheeran
9. Litu/minoo biAllahi warasoolihi watuAAazziroohu watuwaqqiroohu watusabbihoohu bukratan waaseelan 33
10. Inna allatheena yubayiAAoonaka innama yubayiAAoona Allaha yadu Allahi fawqa aydeehim faman nakatha fa-innama yankuthu AAala nafsihi waman awfa bima AAahada AAalayhu Allaha fasayu/teehi ajran AAatheeman

Just as a normal man can climb
A high mountain
And on a clear day
See for many miles all around,

Hafiz can stand on a blessed peak
Inside his heart
And see for hundreds of years
In all directions.

And I tell you, dear ones,
That the Saheb-e Zamaan (Lord of the Age)
The Christ
The Prophet
The Ancient One
Has made a date to Whirl,
To Whirl
With this Earth again!

As Ismailis we are truly fortunate to have received this Grace over the centuries and we have been rejoicing this favor and that is why there is always a lot of Daandia Raas and dancing in our tradition!

Forever Dance
by Hafiz

I am happy even before I have a reason

I am full of Light even before the sky
Can greet the sun or the moon.

Dear companions,
We have been in love with God
For so very, very long.

What can Hafiz now do but Forever

Not only do we dance and rejoice on this occasion, we also go into deep meditation and Zikr (remembrance) of Allah for granting us this Grace. Our ultimate aim is to concentrate in Ibaadat (meditation in God's name), and sit in contemplation of the esoteric meaning of the Didaar, and aspire to become one with the One Who is above all else, Inshallah. Therefore, as we sit in Intezaar (awaiting) for his appearance, we invoke the Salawaat continuously, listen to the Ginans and Farmans (Orders of the Imam) to seek the path to enlightenment and directions our Spiritual Guide wants us to follow in our physical and spiritual lives (din wa duniya).

Didaar Mubarak! Rejoice!

Related Material on  the Ismaili Web
Didaar Poems
Didaar Article
True Meaning of Religion a must-read by Pir Shiabudin Shah
 Mowlana Hazar Imam gives Didaar to Syrian Jamaat
 Mowlana Hazar Imam gives Didaar to Tajikistan Jamaat
Panj Tan Paak Page
Naad-e Ali page
Qadi Numan's Majalis
Majalis-ul Muayyadiya - Life and Lectures of Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Poetry by Al Muayyad and Ibn Hani regarding the Progeny of Muhammad
Poetry by Nasir Khusraw
Hafiz and the Place of Iranian Culture in the World November 1936 - Lecture by Mowlana Sultan Mahomed Shah (s.a.s.)
 The Story of King Harishchandra and Queen Taara Raani in our Ginan
More Ginans at Ismaili Net

Muslim Celebrations - Comprehensive List

 Muslim Holidays and Festivals

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